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Family SMEs in Ireland as learning organisations

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dc.contributor.author Birdthistle, Naomi
dc.date.accessioned 2009-03-11T12:26:13Z
dc.date.available 2009-03-11T12:26:13Z
dc.date.issued 2008
dc.identifier.citation Birdthistle, N. (2008) 'Family SMEs in Ireland as Learning Organisations', The Learning Organisation: The International Journal of Knowledge and Organisational Learning Management, 15(5), 421-436.
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10344/135
dc.description Peer-reviewed
dc.description.abstract Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether small and medium-sized family businesses in Ireland have the potential to be classified as learning organizations. Design/methodology/approach – The research methodology adopted for this study is that of multiple-case studies. In this research, personal interviews were selected as the data collection method. On the basis of Eisenhardt’s premise that a study of between four and ten cases is suitable for qualitative studies, a total of six owner-managers of family small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) were interviewed. Findings – The findings of the case studies support the argument that family businesses have the potential to be learning organizations. However, the extent to which these family businesses are potentially learning organizations depends on the size of the family business and the structure imposed on the business. Micro family businesses struggle to be classified as learning organizations due to the lack of a learning orientation. These businesses lack systems for the monitoring of information and lack the ability to be reactive to market changes. Small family businesses have the potential to be classified as learning organizations. This is due to the fact that small family businesses have learning at the core of their business and systems in place to deal with a learning orientation. Medium-sized family businesses also have the potential to be learning organizations, although they need to ensure that systems are in place to allow learning to occur. Originality/value – This paper presents original findings in a highly relevant, but under-researched field – the family SME as a learning organization. en
dc.language.iso eng en
dc.publisher Emerald Group Publishing Limited en
dc.relation.ispartofseries The Learning Organization: the international journal of knowledge and organizational learning management;Vol. 15/Issue 5/pp. 421-436
dc.relation.uri http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/09696470810898393
dc.subject family firms en
dc.subject small to medium-sized enterprises en
dc.subject case studies en
dc.subject learning organizations en
dc.subject Ireland en
dc.title Family SMEs in Ireland as learning organisations en
dc.type Article en
dc.type.supercollection all_ul_research en
dc.type.supercollection ul_published_reviewed en
dc.type.restriction none en

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